SiD’s Film ‘A Bridge Between Us’ shown at The Breaking Down Barriers Film Festival in Moscow

SiD’s short documentary film ‘A Bridge Between Us’ was shown at  The Breaking Down Barriers Film Festival in Moscow.

‘A Bridge Between Us’ created by filmmaker Jonathan Tritton, documents a performance of duets by Contact Dance Company. The film explores what it means for performers to dance together and the skills needed to find a strong connection when making and performing dance. In the film,  dancers with and without disabilities share the connection they feel with each other through physical touch and through an invisible connection across the dance floor.

 

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The film can be viewed here.

SiD Co – director Ray Jacobs presented the film in two venues in Moscow as part of this ground breaking Russian film festival. The film was very popular and received great feedback. Russian and international attendees were interested in how SiD worked as a company and many international invites were received !
Ray also ran a master class inclusive workshop, sharing some of Contact Dance Company’s practical and creative approaches towards building connection between dancers.

The Breaking Down Barriers film festival, is an important international event. The festival shared over 80 films that explore, reveal and celebrate disabled peoples lives through fiction and documentary films. The festival was very well organised including a brilliant team of volunteers and translators for international visitors. SiD would like to thank the British Arts Council in Russia for supporting us. The festival was a great networking event and new contacts, opportunities and partnerships were forged.sIS

Contact Dance Company perform TwoFold at the Feast Festival in Malvern

A full house at the festival witnessed Contact Dance Company’s absorbing and powerful programme of duets ‘Two Fold’. The programme featured;

‘Unspoken’ An intimate duet about friendship. How do we speak without words?

‘While you broke through to other worlds’ A duet exploring the dynamics and polarity between two people, the pull to strive ahead, the fear of being left behind.

‘Father Daughter’ a celebration of the real life connection between the two dancers.

The programme also included a beautifully made short film about the duets entitled
‘A bridge between us’ created by filmmaker Jonathan Tritton.

The programme culminated in a trio ‘The details in the hands’.

Dance development leader Elizabeth Crosswell and her son were in the audience

I came to watch Contact Dance Company at the Feast Festival at Malvern Cube Theatre with my 4 year old son, we were mesmerised. 

 I’ve never seen him sit on the edge of his seat like that before, watching the duet between Rachel Liggitt and Mervyn Bradley unfold. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him softly mirroring movements from the dancers, as a parent your instinct is to hush, to worry about disturbing the performance for others, but this was his response to the performance and my instinct said let him be.

His response came from the environment the performers had created, by connecting with us, the audience. They made us feel a part of it, drawing us into a duet for two, but we were also immersed in the moments of touch, the friendship, the meeting and parting. 

 The dancers were beautiful; from the measured, dynamic movements of the all-male duet, to the warm flow of the structured improvisation of the trio. I wanted to dance in that trio too, they made it look like so much fun. The way they connected with us as an audience is to me a huge part of what dance is about. The moment when the father proudly shows off his baby girl to the audience – we shared that pride with him. We see the love and care danced together when his daughter joins him later in the duet. It’s just magical.

 I thought it was brilliant that the dancers were available to chat with the audience after the performance. Unfortunately I had to dash off for the school run, but I would have loved to have asked about the process and how the work was created.

Please thank all the dancers for their wonderful performances. I was so grateful to have been able to see such high quality dance in such an intimate venue.

Shropshire Inclusive Dance would like to thank the feast festival for inviting us to be part of a very special festival and JTV for supporting our production with high quality lighting and sound.

Images from the duets Father Daughter and Unspoken. (photography Ray Jacobs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

VERSE-atility – A dance and music project for young carers.

Shropshire inclusive Dance were invited by the Hive to be part of this exciting and rewarding project. Our outreach team led by Anna Belyavin alongside fantastic musicians from Youth Music facilitated workshops where young carers could compose, record and choreograph a piece – all in a week!

The project began with a series of dance and music workshop tasters to groups of young carers throughout Shropshire. Those young people interested in the project and free to spend a week at the Hive signed up. The young people grew in confidence over the weeks activity. Working with dance and music offered time for the young people which was social, fun, creative and challenging.

The young people, musical and dance facilitators worked hard together as a very special team creating a supportive environment full of creativity.

The young carers say that the most important thing for them is “to be around other people who have a lot in common with us” and “to be able to express myself creatively, without judgement”.

Phase one of the project culminated in a brilliant performance by the young people.

We feel the footage in the film below and the accompanied images speak much louder then words. Sit back and enjoy.

 

Images from the project.

 

workshop images – Ray Jacobs

Unknown Places – Performance at Wolverhampton Arena, October 10th 2018

‘Unknown Places’ Contact Dance Company’s most recent ensemble piece, choreographed by dance artist Joanna Young, made a welcome return to the stage at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton.

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Unknown Places – image Ewen Macintyre

This evocative and absorbing piece was performed alongside an improvised trio by Contact Dance Company titled ‘The details of the hands’. The piece was structured and inspired by Joanna Young and accompanied with sensitive and powerful live music by folk duet Deuair.

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Details of the hands – Image Ewen Macintyre

Shropshire Inclusive Dance’s co-director Rachel Liggitt has been in residence with ‘Dance Unity’ sharing some of the working methods in Contact Dance Company’s pieces and some of the ideas behind ‘Unknown Places’ The influence of the work became immediately apparent as Dance Unity took to the stage sharing a dance piece full of connection and elegance.

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Dance Unity – Image Ewen Macintyre

The final work to be performed was Contact Dance Company’s
‘Unknown Places’. The cast of 8 very individual dancers moved through shifts in mood & dynamics from subtle swaying and careful placing, to the creation of wild eddies of movement across a crowded dance floor. The piece demanded discipline and connection from the dancers, which was there for all to see.

‘A dancer moves slowly within a circle while delicate strands of lavender are precariously balanced on her. A male dancer moves and slides a large boulder through his arms, a ripple of bamboo poles balanced on dancers bodies provides a gentle rhythmic accompaniment’

 

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Unknown Places – Image Ewen Macintyre

The dance was accompanied by a subtle and dynamic soundscape by Jamie McCarthy.Contact Dance Company performed Joanna Young’s absorbing and finely placed work with commitment, focus and energy. Members of the audience present at the premiere of the work shared the following thoughts.

‘The new work was a wonderful piece of ensemble movement: focused, reflective, contemplative, infused with the presence not only of each dancer, but also the presence and energies of the natural world’

 ‘At times it felt like the piece was showing to me the ever moving qualities of the whole of humanity’

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Unknown Places – Image by Ewen Macintyre

 

Unknown Places by Contact Dance Company is available for festivals and theatre venues.

 

 

 

Come and watch Contact Dance Company perform in Wolverhampton

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Shropshire Inclusive Dance warmly invites you to a performance by Contact Dance Company, makers of powerful and moving inclusive dance

The performances is at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton
on Wednesday 10th October.

‘Unknown Places’ explores how we can navigate, compose and find comfort within the unknown.

The piece has been choreographed by award winning dance artist Joanna Young and is performed by our talented ensemble of disabled and non-disabled dancers.

Recent performances of this show by Contact Dance Company has received rave reviews

‘Focused, reflective, contemplative, infused with the presence not only of each dancer, but also the presence and energies of the natural world’

‘At times it felt like the piece was showing to me the ever moving qualities of the whole of humanity’

‘Unknown Places’ will be shown alongside a new trio by the company & also new work from Dance Unity.
 
 Dance Unity has created this new work through a residency with
Contact Dance Company.

The tickets at £5 each can be booked from the Arena box office on 01902 321321 or online following this link

Arena Theatre, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SE

The Arena Theatre is a wheelchair accessible venue.

How to get to The Arena Theatre:

By car


The Arena Theatre is situated in the heart of Wolverhampton City Centre, directly behind the Wolverhampton Art Gallery and next to the University of Wolverhampton’s Wulfruna building. The theatre is completely accessible by road.

The nearby Broad Street car park is open 24 hours a day and costs £4.50 for 24-hour parking. Parking is £2 after 5.30pm.

If you don’t have change available, you can download the RingGo app directly to your smartphone. The code for Broad Street is 8035.

By train

Wolverhampton train station is a just a five-minute walk away from the Arena Theatre.

 

Dancing outside, Dancing on the inside SiD outreach teams, engaging children with disabilities and additional needs.

Short breaks is a programme of activities ran by Telford and Wrekin Council aimed at giving children with disabilities and additional needs engaging activities, whilst giving their parents and carers a well earned break.

We have a wonderfully creative team dancing with children at Southall and Haughton Schools in Telford. SiD dancers Anna Belyavin, Poppy Mansfield and Svenja Jinman have been facilitating weekly classes.

Here is an update from Anna Belyavin

At Haughton we have gone on some creative adventures, exploring stories and themes such as ‘The Snail and the Whale’, the football World Cup, island adventures and the circus to name a few. The children have enjoyed using their imaginations to explore different worlds and different characters using props and images to work together to make movement.

At Southall the creative movement sessions have been looking at developing and improving dance vocabulary as well as exploring themes and ideas such as ‘the elements – air, water and fire’.

The children have learnt taught material as well as explored creative ideas, improvisation, partner work and choreography.

We finished the term by making the most of the good weather and taking our dancing outside in the sunshine. We explored nature, sounds and the environment, finishing with a creative dance on the benches in the school grounds. These dances are featured in the video, below.

 

 

 

 

The premier of Unknown Places – a new ensemble piece by Contact Dance Company.

‘Unknown Places’ a newly commissioned ensemble piece choreographed by dance artist Joanna Young was performed by Contact Dance Company, last week at The Hive in Shrewsbury.

13 dancers from Contact Dance Company wove intricate layers of simple evocative movements throughout this 20 minute piece, often collecting, moving, replacing and shifting natural objects such as bamboo, rocks, sticks and plants.

A dancer moves slowly within a circle while delicate strands of lavender are precariously balanced on her. A male dancer moves and slides a large boulder through his arms, a ripple of bamboo poles balanced on dancers bodies provides a gentle rhythmic accompaniment.

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The dance was accompanied by a subtle and dynamic soundscape of field recordings including birdsong, tides, river sounds, composed by Jamie McCarthy

The cast of 13 very individual dancers moved through shifts in mood and dynamics from subtle swaying and careful placing, to the creation of wild eddies of movement across a crowded dance floor. The piece demanded discipline and connection from the dancers, which was there for all to see.

 

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Members of the audience shared the following thoughts about the piece.

‘The new work was a wonderful piece of ensemble movement: focused, reflective, contemplative, infused with the presence not only of each dancer, but also the presence and energies of the natural world’

 ‘At times it felt like the piece was showing to me the ever moving qualities of the whole of humanity’20180619-IMG_2260 copy

 

Described by The Dancing Times as ‘an adventurous choreographic voice’, Joanna Young’s work is delicate, intricately crafted and absorbing to watch.

She writes ‘As a child I had an obsession with arranging spaces; moving paraphernalia and domestic furnishings around to create different atmospheres and situations. I feel like I am still playing the same game’

Before coming to Shropshire to make this new piece Joanna Young was in residency in West Wales, this ever-shifting landscape of rivers and tides had a big influence on the piece. During the making process the dancers were invited to spend a while witnessing the swirling currents of the river Severn and for these currents to be internalised and expressed by the dancers.

Many members of the audience commented on the absorbing, mesmerising and soothing qualities of the piece.

In the first half of the show Contact Dance Company shared two powerful duets

‘Unspoken’ and ‘While you broke through’ and screened a film about their making process entitled ‘A bridge between us’ These works get to the heart of what contact Dance company is about. Connection, relationship, presence, and a joy in the moving body.

Unknown places will be performed in the autumn, that and other repertory work will be available for bookings.

Images of Unknown Places – photography by Ewen Macintyre